A delightful music festival
The annual Thyagaraja festival of the Vignana Samithi featured young talent.
MUSICAL ODE A performance at the Thyagaraja Festival.
This year's Thyagaraja Festival of the three-decade oldmusic Sabha - Vignana Samithi, concentrated on projecting part of Andhra's best young talent. The five-day event held at the Anandanagar Community Hall, featured Malladi Brothers of Vijayawada, Dwaram Lakshmi of Tirupati, Mandapaka Sarada of Vizag, Vishnu Bhotla Sisters (Saraswati and Krishnaveni) of Vijayawada and Rayaprolu Swarna.
Up and coming vocalist Varanasi Sowmya was there too. According to Suri Venkateswarlu, the secretary of the sabha and a musician himself, the audiences interest in Carnatic classical music is growing from festival to festival and many talented young artistes are competing for a concert platform. The Malladi Brothers, Sriram Prasad and Ravi Kumar, appear to be hot names not only here but also in the Chennai circuit, the Mecca of Carnatic music.
They opened Samithi's Thyagaraja Aradhana with their concert. Rendering in the company of Chennai based violinist Embar Kannan, were Hyderabad's hot names D.S.R. Murthy on mridangam and K. Shyam Kumar on kanjeera. The brothers began with Sri Raaga Varnam followed by brisk invocation of Sri Ganapatini in Sourashtram.
Both these numbers were exercised well. Ravi Kumar's Ranjani for Durmargachara and Sriram Prasad's Thodi (Koluvamaregada) stood out as the best renditions of the concert. The brothers came out with forceful neraval and swaras in both these prime numbers. Makelara Vicharamu in Ravichandrika that came later was marked by Good Swara Prasthara.
Mandapaka Sarada, a Ph.D in Patnam's compositions is also an associate professor in Andhra University and has published a few books on music. Her concert had a brilliant Sadhinchene in Arabhi, a Pancharatna Kirtana of Thyagaraja and also a detailed Pantuvarali for Sambho Mahadeva with a full-fledged nereval and swara exposition in Roopakam. Ora Joopu in Kannada Gowla and Manavi Yaalakincha in Nalinakanti were other delights. Reetigowla essay for Thyagaraja's Nannu Vidachi was a well-chiselled number. R Dinkar on the violin and Mandapaka Nagalakshmi on mridangam lent their support. Dr. Dwaram Lakshmi performed on another day with R.Dinakar on the violin, Balasubrahmanyam on the mridangam and Prasad on the ghatam.
She revealed excellent vocal culture in her main number Kalyani (Ethavunara) and other pieces. She has also essayed Kapi for Inta Soukhyamu and drew good response. Tani Avartanam by the percussionists was an added charm for this number. Lakshmi opened with Brova Bharama in Bahudari with swaras. Nadatanumanisam in Chittaranjani was another impressive number of her concert.
Rayaprolu Swarna is another best talent, though she is getting fewer opportunities to perform. The late Susarla Siva Ram, was her guru who initiated her into quality music. Thodi for Enduku Dayaraadu was one of the highlights of her tasteful repertoire. Durmargachara in Ranjani Kanugontini in Bilahari were other pleasing numbers she rendered expressively, with Pawan Singh on violin and R. Srikanth on mridangam. Vishnu Bhotla Sisters - Saraswathi and Krishnaveni - make a new combination that is slowly gaining ground in carnatic concert circles in recent times.
Disciples of veteran voco-violinist N.Ch.Krishnamacharyulu, they literally closed the 159th Thyagaraja Aradhana and 29th annual music festival of Vigjnana Samiti, with their impressive concert, displaying great respect for tradition. They chose Kambhoji as their main melody and rendered O Rangasai in this. Nereval and swaram were a beauty.
Good show throughout
Essaying of Varali for Etijanma with nereval and swaram was another attraction. Vidulaku Mrokkeda in Mayamalavagowla and Orajoopu in Kannada Gowla were other notable pieces. Senior violinist Kokkonda Subramanya Sarma and mridangam player B.V.S. Sastry accompanied them. P Srinivasa Gopalan was on the morsing. Going by the mini concerts given by young talent, Varanasi Sri Soumya, Gomatham Vasuki and R Swarna, they are sure to perform at more music sabhas in the future. The traditional Panchartna Keertana Ganam, preceded by Ooncha Vritti with J.Eswara Prasad as Thyagaraja, recalling the saint's period was also part of the festival.
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